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Jesus Creed


Top Ten Books: Teaching

posted by xscot mcknight

Chris Jones, a frequent reader of this blog, asked me for some suggestions on books about teaching and education. I rifled my shelves and pulled off my top ten (or so). There are many, many more, and some of you my have some suggestions, but these are mine. (I’ve got a lecture on the web that skips through some of this stuff.)
It is my custom to read a book on education during the summer and then to read one over Christmas break, if time and schedule permit. I’ve read each of these, and learned deeply from each.
J. Epstein, Masters: Portraits of Great Teachers. About teachers — famous ones and not so famous ones.
A. Bartlett Giamatti, A Free and Ordered Space: The Real World of the University. Brilliant collections of essays on a liberal education.
M. Adler, Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind. At the heart of Adler’s educational proposals are these seminal essays.
J.M. Banner, Jr., H.C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching. Nuts and bolts, written with class.
D.P. Verene, The Art of Humane Education. Brilliant essay.
M. Schwehn, Exiles from Eden. There’s lots in this book.
P. Palmer, To Know as We are Known. A classic about a more existential theory of education.
A. Holmes, Shaping Character. Moral education.
J. Barzun, Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning. A warning about the decline in the West.
J. Pelikan, The Idea of the University: A Reexamination. Interaction with John Henry Newman’s famous book.
Maryellen Weimer, Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. The best book I’ve seen on outcome-based education.



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Gordon Hackman

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:03 am


Scot,
Thanks for this list. I’ll be looking for these.



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Allie

posted May 23, 2007 at 8:26 am


Hey, Scot:
Have you read Parker Palmer’s “The Courage to Teach”? I was blown away by it, and am curious to see if you read it, and what you think of it if you did.



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Scot McKnight

posted May 23, 2007 at 8:50 am


Allie,
Well, maybe because I had read his other piece I didn’t think this one was all that hot.



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John W Frye

posted May 23, 2007 at 9:04 am


Scot,
I was going to ask Allie’s question (#2). I didn’t know about Palmer’s book you referenced.
Would you say a few more things about *Exiles from Eden*?



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Scot McKnight

posted May 23, 2007 at 9:20 am


John,
Schwehn’s book is the basis of my lecture I link to in the post. It moves in the realm of Giamatti’s book on liberal education as a vocation.



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Bob Robinson

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:57 am


Great list, Scot!
Yet again, you’ve added more to my reading list. You must stop this. It costs me too much money!!
One of my favorites on education is Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education.



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Scot McKnight

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:03 am


Bob,
You embarrass me … I’ve got two of his books and have yet to read them. Need to. Soon.



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John W Frye

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:11 am


Scot (#5),
Thanks for this. Now I have to read your lecture :) which I’m sure will be pastorally educational or educationally pastoral.



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Tony Stiff

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:48 am


This is a really helpful list for both pastors and professors. Thanks for this!
I think I’ll either pickup Epstein’s or Pelikan’s work in my first year of full time labor coming soon :)



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Sam Andress

posted May 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm


Neil Postman’s “Teaching as Subversive Activity”. It basically covers how teaching should shape better question asking, but unfotunately much teaching and education in America shuts down question asking. Postman goes a bit into how a democracy can only flourish through subversive teaching…the first chapter is titled “crap detecting.”



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Allie

posted May 24, 2007 at 8:03 am


Darn right, Bob–this blog is turning into quite an expensive proposition. The people at the special orders desk at my local Barnes and Noble duck whenever they see me coming because of this blog. Thank goodness for Amazon.



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JACK

posted May 24, 2007 at 6:54 pm


The Risk of Education by L. Giussani.



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jason dye

posted May 24, 2007 at 9:36 pm


What? No Dangerous Minds or Freedom Writers?
i may have to look over this list again later during the summer, after my ethics and foundations in american ed class ends (and the baby comes).



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